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Not perfect but NBA 2K16 still a playable NBA game that does a lot of things well

Honestly, I thought the fact that I was getting owned by Will Perdue was a dead giveaway that this wasn't real. Then again, such comments are a testament to the excellent job that 2K Sports has done in making its NBA 2K franchise look as realistic as possible. For someone who has gotten used to the excellent presentation of the series, it's also a nice reminder of the technical feat that the game's creators have pulled off - something I admit that I tend take for granted at times. MyCareer has been changed quite a bit this time around. You take the role of an undrafted free agent. Your goal is to get a 10 day contract in order to prove your worth on a variety of different teams and eventually find one that sticks. While not quite as dramatic as the rivalry in NBA 2K16, this does give you extra options, allowing you to see more of what the NBA has to offer as you make your way to the top.
 
It’s not accurate all of the time, however: after scoring off the glass with Mr. Fundamentals himself, Tim Duncan, we witnessed him celebrate like a mad man for hitting a clutch shot. Of course, anyone that knows anything about this Hall of Famer will be aware that he wears the same expression whether he’s winning a fifth championship or losing a game. Another minor mistake that we spotted was the presence of yellow shirts in the crowd during a Lakers play-off game. As a lifetime fan, there’s no way that that would ever happen. When it works, NBA 2K16 offers a triple double worth of compelling content, from its accessible but deep gameplay to the deep MyGM and dramatic MyCareer modes. Unfortunately, the connectivity issues continue to box out players from its engaging experiences.

 
Not every mode is affected, but tying the predominantly offline MyCareer to the servers was a poor decision, as was the choice to once again take the court with an under performing online suite. What enjoyment you get out of the game will likely be tied to how much importance you place on connected experiences. My high school coach visited a game against the Boston Celtics, telling me how proud he was of Virtual Me. In the fourth and final game of my second 10-day deal, I lit up the Sacramento Kings for 20 points off the bench. The Bucks guaranteed my contract for the rest of the season and it was time to get to work. Once you're a part of the team, you have meetings with the coaching staff for "Game Points" that teach you different ways to play different situations.
 
Those elements, along with the excellent presentation and the ambitious MyPlayer mode, have formed the core of NBA 2K's appeal for quite a while now, and are a large part of why I plan to continue playing for the near future. Beyond that, I'm not going to lie-I don't like the MyPark mode. It's really clever, and the backdrops are gorgeous, but it's altogether too clunky for my tastes. Standing in the "Got Next" circle waiting for my turn, I started having flashbacks to standing in line for a chance to play an arcade game in PlayStation Home; which, I'm sure that they were trying to reduce the artificiality of the matchmaking, but I would rather just get automatically teleported to an open game. Once I got on the court, it was often tough to determine who I was supposed to be guarding owing to the fact that everyone was wearing different outfits. Novel as it was to play street basketball against a handful of online opponents, it felt like it was missing something. I'd be interested to see what improvements Visual Concepts introduces to the mode next year.
 
They explain with video of where the appropriate post-entry passes are and how to run around screens to stick with shooters. You can skip them if you want, but it's offered as a learning tool to bring the experience of being coached. Developer Visual Concepts added a few new things to NBA 2K16, but seem to be relying mostly on a fanbase that they hope is content with what they brought out with 2K13 and 2K14. The removal of any real tutorial was a bit of a surprise, as that was an in depth on-boarding feature that not only taught you the intricacies of the controls, but also helped to sharpen your skills on some of the harder to pull off moves. The moves are the same as 2K14, though, so going back and playing tutorials in that edition does help some. While NBA 2K16 is not perfect, it’s still a playable NBA game that does a lot of things well. They can start by making it easier to figure out how to go in with a friend, since no matter how many times I selected "Play with a friend," my friends were never on the list.